The effect of British privatisations on consumers had not been widely researched, and the Milan study is a welcome addition. This paper considers some parts of the effect on consumers, drawing on complementary research, in particular seeking to distinguish the effects of introducing competition from other aspects of the reform process. The paper discusses the effect of increased price differentiation on different household groups, and particularly the effect on vulnerable households, as well as changes in expectations and in quality of service. The paper concludes that there has been an adverse effect on a small number of vulnerable consumers, but that it would not be wise to deprive others, including other low income households, of benefits to protect these groups. Such protection would be better delivered through an alternative instrument. Benefits and costs are likely to be specific to the particular circumstances of any reform programme, and are not necessarily transferable to other times, industries or countries.